Davey’s venture helping others

A young entrepreneur from Morpeth has combined his passion for physical activity with his own experience of managing depression to build his own successful health and well-being business.

Wednesday, 7th August 2019, 15:03 pm
Updated Friday, 23rd August 2019, 22:11 pm
First Step Group managing director Davey Hoops, left, and Andrew Skelton, director at SOS Group.

Davey Hoops opened the First Step Health Fitness and Well-being Centre in April this year as a direct way to make a positive impact on people with social anxiety issues, eating disorders or mental health issues.

Six new jobs have already been created at the centre on the North Tyne Industrial Estate near Holystone.

It offers gym equipment, classes and personal training – all with a strong emphasis on building confidence in a supportive environment.

More than 40 members have been recruited in the centre’s first three months, a figure that Davey is hoping will reach three figures within the next six months.

And he is already planning to expand the concept to other locations around the region, and eventually further afield.

The 28-year-old was diagnosed with depression in 2017 and ended up putting on around 70 pounds in weight in just eight months as a result.

He said: “I was sad, lethargic and had no direction in life after my diagnosis, and used food to comfort myself, but within six months of improving my physical activity levels and diet, I managed to lose all the weight I’d put on, started First Step and regained a real purpose and happiness in my life.

“Our members feel comforted in the fact that I’ve been exactly where they are and I will be with them to help and encourage every step of the way.

“The role of being physically active is so important when developing physical attributes such as losing body fat, developing muscle mass or increasing fitness.

“Being more active can reduce stress, depression and anxiety while increasing confidence and self-esteem, and being able to apply my own knowledge has really helped us get the business up and running quickly.”

The business is being supported with technology and digital equipment provided by Team Valley-based copy, print and scan management company SOS Group.